If you’re an East Coast kid, you already know Pedro. If not, allow me to introduce you to the cheesiest of the cheesy roadside attractions: South of the Border. Proudly filling tanks and tummies since 1949, SOTB is a cottage industry onto itself.
Perched on the “border” between North and South Carolina on I-95, kids of the 60s through today know Pedro’s billboards and used them as a way to pass the miles between home and Disney World/Grandma’s/ The Beach. Some punny (“here today, gone tamale”), some frankly a bit racist (“too much tequila”), the billboards kept us busy during the alphabet game before Nintendo DS and in-seat DVD players came along.
This morning I had an opportunity to take the kids to meet Pedro for the first time. The billboards came in earnest later than I remembered…about 30 miles before the border coming from the North. Deal Girl actually quit her video game to play the alphabet game with me, while Deal Kid looked up from time to time from his DS at the most garish billboards (the crashed car was a “hit”).
Finally, SOTB’s giant sombrero peeked out between as a reminder that we were truly on vacation. This 4 day weekend has started out on a icy note, and even Pedro was feeling it:
However, the Deal Kids LOVED South of the Border, just as I do. I can’t tell you why, really. Let’s face it: it’s a truck stop. There’s just something so American about a place like SOTB…even Pedro would tell you so.
What’s your favorite roadside stop? Please share!